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On this page: Plfnius Valerianus – Plistonicus – Plocamus – Plotina – Plotinus



merciful and just than the proceedings of the In­quisition, and of many religious persecutions among Christians themselves: he approves of the go­vernor's conduct, as explained in his letter, and observes that no general rule can be laid down. Persons supposed to be Christians are not to be sought for: if they are accused and the charge is proved, they are to be punished ; but if a man denied the charge, and could prove its falsity by offering his prayers to the heathen gods (diis nos-tris), however suspected he may have been, he shall be excused in respect of his- repentance. Charges of accusation (libelli) without the name of the in­formant or accuser, were not to be received, as they had been : it was a thing of the worst example, and unsuited to the age.

The first edition of the Epistolae and Panegy- ricus of Plinius is that of Venice, 1485, 4to. One of the latest and best editions is that of J. M. Gesner, by G. H. Schaefer, Leipzig, 1805, 8vo. The best edition of the Epistolae alone is said to be by Cortius and Longolius, Amsterdam, 1734, 4to. Schaefer's edition contains the life of Plinius by Cellarius, who has given references to the several passages in the letters, which are evidence of the facts. There is a much more elaborate life by Masson, Amsterdam, 1709, 8vo. There are Ger­ man translations of the Epistolae^ by E. Thierfeld, 1823—1829 ; by E. A. Schmid, 1782, &c.; and by J. B. Schaefer, 1801, &c. There is an English version of the Epistolae by Lord Orrery, and another by W. Melmothc [G. L.]

PLFNIUS VALERIANUS. [valerianus, plinius.]

PLISTONICUS or PLEISTONI'CUS (Tl\€i(7r6vLKos\ an ancient Greek physician, a pupil of Praxagoras (Cels. De Med. i. praef. p. 6), who therefore lived probably in the fourth and third centuries b.c. He appears to have written a work on Anatomy (Galen, Comment, in Hippocr. "De Nat. Horn." ii. 6, vol. xv. p. 136), which is se­ veral times mentioned by Galen (DeAtraBile^ c. 1, vol. v. p. 104; De Meth. Med. i. 3, ii. 5, iv. 4, vol. x. pp. 28,110, 260 ; De Venae Sect. adv. Era- sistr. cc. 5, 6, vol. xi. pp. 163, 169; De Simplic. Medicam. Temper, ac Facult. vi. prooem. vol. xi. p. 795; Comment, in Hippocr. " Epid. VI" iii. 12, vol. xvii. pt. ii. p. 29 ; Adv. Julian, c. 5, vol. xviii. pt. i. p. 270), who calls him one of the most eminent physicians of his time (De Hippocr. et Plat. Deer. viii. 5, vol. v. p. 685). He is quoted also by Pliny (H. N. xx. 13, 48), Athe- naeus (Deipn. ii. 23, p. 45), Oribasius (Coll. Medic, vii. 27, p. 332), and Gariopontus (De Febr. c. 7). None of his writings are now ex­ tant. [W. A. G.]

PLOCAMUS, a Greek sculptor, whose name is inscribed on the plinth of a group of two statues, Bacchus supported by Ampelus. Besides the in­ scription IIAOKAMOC i nOIHCE, there is another on the front of the plinth, «!>OK6mN CTN MTP, which is evidently of later date. (Boissard, Antiq. Rom. p. iv. tab. 120 ; Montfaucon, Antiq. Evcpliq. vol. ii. p. 11 ; R. Rochette, Lettre a M. Scliorn. p. 389, 2ded.) [P. S.]

PLOTINA, POMPEIA, the wife of the emperor Trajan, was, according to the concurrent testimony of a)I the writers who mention her, a woman of extraordinary merits and virtue. As she ascended the steps of the palace after her husband's accession, she turned round to the


people, and took them to witness that she always desired to be the same as she was then ; and throughout her life her conduct was regulated by this principle. She also increased the popularity of Trajan by repressing the exactions of the pro­curators. As she had no children, she persuaded her husband to adopt Hadrian, to whom she was much attached; but the statement of Dion Cassius, that her intercourse with Hadrian was of a criminal character, is opposed to all that we know of her character. Plotina survived her husband and died in the reign of Hadrian, who honoured her memory by mourning for her nine days, by building a temple in her honour, and by composing hymns in her praise. Hadrian likewise erected in honour of her a magnificent temple at Nemausus in Gaul. (Dion Cass. Ixviii. 5, Ixix. 1, 10 ; Plin. Paneg. 83, 84 ; Aur. Vict. Epit. 42. § 21 ; Spartian. Hadr. 4, 12.) In the coin annexed Plotina is called Augusta, but in what year she received that title is uncertain. When Pliny pronounced his Panegyric, that is, in a. d. 100, she had not yet obtained it (Paneg. 84) ; but an ancient inscription informs us that she was so called in a. d. 105. (Eckhel, vol. vi. p. 465.)


PLOTINUS (ILWra/os), the originator of the new Platonic system (though not of its fundamental principles), lived so exclusively in speculation, that he appeared to be ashamed of his own bodily organisation (e^/cei ^v aiffxvvonei'y on €v crca/nart efy, Porphyr. Vita Plotinif c. 1 ; comp. Ennead. i. 4. §§ 14, 15), and would tell neither his parents, his forefathers, his native country, nor his birthday, in order to avoid the celebration of it. (Porphyr. cc. 1, 2.) When requested to sit for his portrait, he asked, whether it was not enough to bear the image in which nature had veiled us, and whether we ought to commit the folly of leaving to posterity an image of this image ? so that his enthusiastic friend, Amelius, only succeeded in getting a faithful por­trait of him by introducing an artist to his open lectures, in order that he might observe him accurately and then paint him from memon^. (Porphyr. /. c.) According to Suidas and others, he was born at Lycopolis (Sivouth) in Egypt. That he was of Roman descent, or at least born of a freed man of Rome, is conjectured with great probability from his name. Porphyry could give very little information respecting his earlier life, at least from any personal communication. He learned, however, that he had been fed from the nurse's breast up to his eighth year, although he was already sent to school ; that in his twenty-eighth year the impulse to study philosophy was awakened in him, but that not obtaining satisfac­tion from the teacher he attended (who was named Alexandriens), he fell into a state of great anxiety, and was then brought by a friend to Ammonius Saccas ; that from that day forward he remained continuously with Amraonius for eleven years,

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